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Fact Check: Viral Message Falsely Claims that Govt Insurance Scheme May Be Availed For COVID-19 Deaths

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Summary

The viral message claiming that Kins of those who died of COVID-19 can claim insurance under Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) is fake. 

Recently, a message is being circulated on social media platforms claiming that insurance benefits for COVID-19 deaths can be claimed under two of the PM's Suraksha Yojana Schemes, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY).

Here is the screenshot of the message being forwarded on WhatsApp. 

A Facebook user named Pawan also shared the message that reads, "If someone in close relative/friends circle has died due to Covid-19 or for any reason, ask the bank for an account statement or passbook entry from 01-04 to 31-03 of the financial year. Seeing the entry of Rs. 12/- or Rs. 330/- , mark it,Go to the bank and Claim for Insurance. My Humble Request to All of You is that if such cases happen around you."

The truth behind the claim 

In our investigation, we found this claim to be false. 

PM Modi launched the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana on 28th August 2015. Under these two schemes were announced for providing social security at affordable premiums for citizens across the country having savings bank accounts.

The Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) is a one-year life insurance scheme, renewable from year to year, offering coverage for death due to any reason and is available to people in the age group of 18 to 50 years( life cover up to age 55) having a savings bank account who give their consent to join and enable auto-debit.

Under the PMJJBY scheme, life cover of Rs. 2 lakhs is available for a one year period stretching from 1st June to 31st May at a premium of Rs.330/- per annum per member and is renewable every year. It is offered/administered through LIC and other Indian private Life Insurance companies. For enrollment, banks have tied up with insurance companies. Participating Bank is the Master policyholder.

The assurance on the life of the member shall terminate on any of the following events and no benefit will become payable thereunder:

1) On attaining age 55 years (age near birth day) subject to annual renewal up to that date (entry, however, will not be possible beyond the age of 50 years).

2) Closure of account with the Bank or insufficiency of balance to keep the insurance in force.

3) A person can join PMJJBY with one Insurance company with one bank account only.

The specifics of the scheme can be read here.

Therefore, COVID-19 deaths are included in the ambit of reasons where the claim is applicable. However, this scheme will not be applicable if the claimant does not have a bank account or does not belong to the 18-55 age group. Further, COVID-19 deaths of people older than 55 are not liable to benefit from this scheme.

The Pradhanmantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY), is applicable in cases of accidental deaths or permanent disabilities. According to the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority, accidental death indicates death caused by the sudden, unintended, and fortuitous external and visible events. Hence, COVID-19 deaths are not considered as accidental deaths.

Therefore, PMJJBY covers COVID-19 deaths. however, with certain conditions. Further, the scheme is only applicable to people between the ages of 18-55 who have voluntarily signed up for the scheme that was launched in 2015. The other scheme, PMSBY does not cover COVID-19 deaths since it is only applicable for accidental deaths.

The fact-checking arm of the Press Information Bureau also clarified on twitter that the viral message makes false claims.  The Government clarified that Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) doesn’t cover COVID-19 related deaths, however, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) covers COVID deaths with certain conditions.

In its tweet, the PIB Fact Check wrote, "Claim: Kins of those who died of COVID-19 can claim insurance under Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) #PIBFactCheck: PMSBY doesn't cover COVID related deaths, while PMJJBY covers COVID deaths with certain conditions."

In conclusion, the viral message claiming that Kins of those who died of COVID-19 can claim insurance under Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) is fake. 

Note: You can reach out to us at support[at]facthunt.co.in if you find any issue with our articles.


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